|20 km/12 mi Circular||523 m/1716 ft||Difficult|
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Start from La Falaise Car Park at the western of the Esplanade.
Heading in a westerly direction, we follow the Coastal Path right through to Blackgang. Therefore I won't over complicate the description as the Coastal Path is very well signposted.
1. Ventnor to Blackgang, wholly on the Coastal Path
Keeping to the Coastal Path, after a kilometre, you drop down into Steephill Cove. Where there are several seasonal café’s.
Leaving Steephill Cove, you continue past Ventnor Botanic Gardens. The path now narrows, and keeps close to the cliff edge until just after the Coastguard Cottages, at St. Lawrence. You are now leaving the coast, but not the Coastal Path itself.
300 metres past the Coastguard Cottages, you are diverted away from the coast.
Climb upwards, away from the coast to Woolverton Road. Follow the road round to the right into Old Park Road. Cross the main road, and take Spindlers Road uphill till the T-junction. Turn left into Seven Sisters Road, and after 70 metres turn right on the footpath V81/Coastal Path leaving the road to climb to 'High Hat’. This section is very well sign posted, as the Coastal Path.
You will see several signs about the Coastal Path being diverted, these can be safely ignored as the sign posts are now correctly in place, showing the diversions. The Isle of Wight Council is fulfilling its statutory obligation, to inform the public of any changes to the Rights-of-Way network.
At 'High Hat' we turn left keeping close to the cliff edge till we reach Barrack Shute at Niton. We cross the Shute, and continue following the Coastal Path until the viewpoint car park at Blackgang. You will be passing St. Catherine’s Lighthouse on the southern tip of the Isle of Wight.
2. Blackgang to High Hat (St. Lawrence).
We are now leaving the Coastal Path.
Leaving the entrance to the car park we cross the road to climb up St. Catherine's Hill on C36 Gore Down
We are aiming for St. Catherine's Oratory, the stone structure at the top of the hill. At the Oratory we head straight for the white trig point crossing the stile. The path is not very well defined, go rightwards downhill towards the gate. It's steep in sections, so take care.
Go right, and through the gate, continuing for 250 metres. Just after a stile on your left, turn right and downhill on this non-signposted Bridleway. The track turns into a road - Pan Lane. Continue downhill to the T-junction.
At the T-junction turn left, heading towards the crossroads by the village stores. At the cross roads turn right. Opposite the White Lion pub, take the NT23 St. Lawrence
It's a bit of maze here. After we pass the pond, keep going left, but ignoring the first path on the left. When we meet a confluence of 4 paths -the signs are barely legible here. We take the un-named bridleway, away from the 'Cliff Top' path. At Allotment Road, we go right on the NT18 Whitwell, better known as Ashknowle Lane. This track takes us to Whitwell.
At Whitwell, cross the road, and turn left for 20 metres to join NT15
We cross over the brook and the old railway embankment in to the field continue upwards to join the NT12 Dean Farm
At Dean Farm aim for the back of the farm and take the gate near the small brick igloo. Exiting the farm at the main road, cross over and head right for Ventnor Road and join 'St Rhadegund's Path V80
Continue on the path till we reach 'High Hat' again.
3. St. Lawrence to Ventnor
We now turn left on the V77 St Lawrence Shute
At the road, cross over, to climb back on to the path, where you turn right. After one kilometre take the Bridleway at the Paradise walk sign that leads downhill.
When the path levels off , stay on it, until it bears left, and goes under an old railway bridge. At the road at, Inglewood Park, go right and downhill until the T-junction.
At the T-junction we cross over to join the V91 on our left. At the Coastal Path we go left retracing our steps we took earlier - with one exception. We ignore the Coastal Path sign pointing us back down to Steephill Cove, unless of course you wish to go back down to the cove.
We carry on the obvious path past till we meet the Coastal Path again, where we re-trace our steps back to the car park.
A classic coastal walk starting and finishing in Ventnor.
Starting at the western end of the Esplanade at La Falaise Car Park
You head westward, and wholly on the Coastal Path, to Blackgang.
At Blackgang, we start our return journey back to Ventnor via St. Catherine's Hill.
The route now becomes more rural, as you leave the coast, and head towards Whitwell, via Niton. After Whitwell you return to the Undercliff continuing past St. Lawrence, towards the outskirts of Ventnor.
As we near Ventnor, we drop down to the coast, to re-trace our steps we did earlier from Ventnor Botanic Gardens back to the Esplanade.
The route is largely flat. The only notable climb being up St. Catherine's Hill.
- Ordnance Survey Map
- 1:25000 - Explorer OL29 - Isle of Wight
- 1:50000 - Landranger 196 - The Solent & Isle of Wight
Sat Nav: PO38 1JX
Train Station: None
Either the No.3, or No.6. Stop: Ventnor, Adjacent Boots.
If you are arriving from the Mainland via Ryde, you can catch the train to Shanklin, then the No.3 bus to Ventnor. This would be quicker than just taking the bus from Ryde.
The No.6 route is a rural service. If you coming from Newport, the No.3 service is quicker.
You can shorten the route by catching the bus back to Ventnor. Take the No.6 bus at Blackgang, Niton, or Whitwell.